Ken Russell lied to voters when he said he wouldn’t run for higher office

By GRANT STERN, Special Guest

Miami Commissioner Ken Russell is running for Congress for the third time in just five years since he got elected to his present office just six and a half years ago. 

But the District 2 Commissioner promised the public and specifically members of his own political party at his first 2019 re-election debate versus Jim Fried — an event organized by the Downtown Dems Club — that he would not run for higher office if he was given another term.

In a video from that Oct. 2, 2019 debate, moderator Josh Sproat, former Downtown Dems President & Edgewater resident, asked Russell point blank if he was going to jump ship.

“We also know that after being elected last time, you explored a Congressional race,” began Sproat, giving context to the audience. “So, if you are re-elected, do we have a commitment from you that you are going to be finishing your term and not seek another office and continue to represent the residents of District 2?”

“Absolutely,” replied Russell before launching into a lengthy justification of his prior failed run for Congress. See it for yourself here.

“So you’re calling me about when Ken Russell lied to us about not running for higher office, right?” asked Sproat spontaneously, before being asked a single question, when this reporter called for comment. “Because I think about it every time I see one of his campaign ads.”

Russell’s short-lived 2017 campaign for the U.S. House raised a significant amount of money from people doing business with the city. Later, the commissioner spent $100,000 of those donations to support his former Chief of Staff Eleazar Melendez in the 2019 District 1 race, with a whopping $150,000 overall donations, the largest single political payment in City of Miami history.

Last week, when approached before the July 28th commission meeting, Russell refused to say anything at all, briefly waving and grimacing before striding onto the dais and away from questions.

Last year, after the Miami commissioner launched his failed bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida, he said this by text message to this reporter, who asked if he would resign and let someone else serve out the last 42% of his term without campaigning for higher office: “I will serve the city of Miami into the last year of my last term. Working with my great staff to get many good projects completed before then.”

He later submitted an irrevocable resignation letter that is effective when new Congress members take office. That won’t be until January. His term would have ended in November of next year. But he has checked out already. Just look at his Tik Tok. He has no time for city business.

Russell also texted an excuse to stop being accessible: “I’ve stopped engaging with you because I’ve felt that you had made your mind up about me and were not reporting in good faith.

“Open communication is always better, even where we disagree,” texted the commissioner.

When asked via text in recent days for comment about his request for open communication and why he feels factual reporting is in bad faith, Commissioner Russell did not respond at the time of this writing.

Irrevocable Letter of Resignation – Commissioner Ken Russell by Political Cortadito on Scribd